Here at Advant Medical we are dedicated to gender equality. We know that gender equality should not just be viewed as a “women’s issue”. It is everyone’s battle, and it is critically important that men understand that this includes them. We want to take time to promote some of the women in leadership positions within our company as a visible role model to young women thinking of careers in the STEM industries. Every Wednesday this month we will be posting interviews from some of the women in senior positions in the Advant Medical Group to talk about their personal experience of working in the MedTech Industry.
We sat down with Bernice Crowley to ask her what it is like being a woman in a leadership position in the Advant Medical Group and what advice she would give to young women thinking of working in the STEM industries.
Introducing Bernice Crowley
Bernice Crowley is the Supply Chain Manager at Advant Medical and is one of the newest members of the Advant team. Bernice has a Bachelor of Engineering Honours degree from NUIG, a CIPM from APICS and a Diploma in Management from the chartered Management Institute. Before joining the Advant team Bernice has worked with Organon Ireland Ltd, Abbott Vascular – Galway, BioExel MedTech Accelerator and Contego Sports, working in the MedTech industry for over 16 years. Bernice has performed various roles within these companies amassing a vast array of knowledge of various business aspects in both Multinational and Start-up environments. While Bernice may be one of our newest members she has settled in extremely well. Her positive attitude and willingness to take on new challenges has been amazing. Her commitment to business performance improvements through effective team and change management will see her thrive in the Advant work environment.
“Always communicating is key – communicate, communicate, communicate!”
Q.1 What first drew you to MedTech? When did you first know you wanted to be in the industry?
I first started working in the Pharma and MedTech industry in Dublin but it wasn’t until I moved back to the West of Ireland that I learned about the vibrant MedTech start-up ecosystem in Galway which feeds into the Med Tech sector globally. It’s the opportunity and energy that lies within this sector that drew me into it and continues to do so.
Q.2 In your experience, what is it like for women working in MedTech now, versus 10 or 15 years ago?
Throughout my working time within the MedTech sector opportunities have always been there if women want to work hard and go for it. However, it takes a lot of commitment so balancing work life and family life hasn’t always been an option or a choice for some women. In recent years I have noticed a lot more women in higher positions that have managed to achieve this balance along the way – which is very reassuring!
Q.3 You hold one of the top leadership positions at Advant Medical. How much does it help when women employees can see that there are already people like them holding top positions?
It is a fantastic help! I think Advant have got it right in so far as they recognize that women at this level are interested in their work and want to work hard but also want to and can have a very fulfilling life outside of work too. This can only be inspiring for young females who have worked hard to get to where they are and can still see more fulfilling opportunities ahead! It’s a win win for everyone – employees and employer!
Q.4 Talk about your leadership skills. What is the most important lesson you have learned that has guided you in your career?
People have different leadership styles. I like to look at company strategic targets and goals and to filter this down throughout the organisation. In that way everyone’s goals are aligned. I look to assign people to jobs that play to their strengths and then provide training where possible to develop their skills. Supporting the development of people to progress out of their department – if they want -into other roles within the company is a great way to hold on to good people. It is important to recognize a team or an individual’s achievements or if an individual delivers something extraordinary from a work perspective. Rewarding individuals or a team can be carried out in many ways. Finally, communication is key – communicate, communicate, communicate!
Q.5 Describe your biggest leadership challenge. How did you conquer it or resolve it, and what was the outcome?
Many challenges come to mind but one prominent one was in a previous company when we had to start a manufacturing facility from 0 staff to a team of 115 across various functions within 8 months. Hiring the staff, training them up to a competent level, maintaining a good working environment, installing and validating machines whilst still achieving output targets made for a very busy environment!
Q.6 In your opinion, what more can be done to promote greater participation of young women in the MedTech industry?
Promoting the careers for women through education in the sciences & technologies, companies going to the colleges to promote career opportunities in the MedTech sector and also as so many young starters have great ideas I believe promoting the whole entrepreneurial side of the MedTech sector is critical.
Q.7 What career advice would you give to your younger self or to other women starting out their careers in the MedTech industry?
Identify what you want, work hard and go for it and ensure you enjoy yourself along the way!!!!
Q.8 In your opinion, do you feel that Advant Medical encourage and support women in the workplace?
Absolutely yes! The proof is in the pudding by the number of women that are on the senior team here at Advant.
Enjoyed reading? Keep a copy
We hope you enjoyed our Q&A with Bernice and found some insights from her interview. If you would like a PDF version to download you can do so here